As the internet careers towards a more mobile friendly set up and Google threatens to banish sites that have failed to implement a mobile optimised experience for their users, the tracking cookie, which simply doesn't work over an array of mobile devices, is slowly dying.
It all started back in 2007 when Apple launched the iPhone and restricted third party cookies on their game-changing phone. Believing that advertisers would be able to pull too much information on their users, Apple started the ball rolling in what would become a scramble to create their own ways of tracking consumers.
In the face of this, the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple have evolved the way they track you across mobile devices. As third party cookies don’t track users across a multitude of mobile devices, the big three (Facebook, Google, Apple) have their own way of finding out what ads to put in front of you.
Today we’re looking at Facebook.
We put everything on Facebook. We “like” certain posts, follow key players in certain industries, offer everything from our eye colours, jeans size, university credentials, even where we went to school and what we prefer to eat, and we do it freely. You may think nobody’s watching if no one interacts with you, but Facebook is very interested in this information. In fact, as we all know, this is how the company makes money – its 1.3billion users offer this information up and marketers have access to a highly personalised form of advertising.
So how does it track you?
Facebook follows the movements of its users through its Single Sign-On (SSO) which allows you to use your Facebook details on other third-party websites and apps.
When you sign in through Facebook, the company watches you, follows and catalogues your destination points, and then uses the data it receives on you to tailor which ads they put in front of you whilst you’re looking at cat videos, or reading about Steve’s lunch on your newsfeed. You’ve probably noticed that some of these ads have started to appeal to you and thought “They’re in my head!” – no, they just know where you’ve been.
The likes of Instagram and WhatsApp – both owned by Facebook, and the internally owned apps like Paper and Messenger all pull more data on you. Instagram have already started to run ads based on what you’re “liking” proving the platform is evolving even more, with WhatsApp set to follow suit soon.
Stay tuned for more on how the big players track you. For more information on social advertising, call 0845 643 9289 to speak to an expert.